First of all in my opinion, the mainstream of professor Landow’s article is the canon. In the first paragraph he introduces the concepts of canon and told the fact that it is not easy to enter the canon. Then in the second, third and fifth paragraph he talks about privileges and benefits of entering the canon. In the last two paragraphs he mentions the idea of developing a new canon.
I am a new student to English literature, my knowledge to this area is limited. When I first read Landow’s article, it brought me a brand new point of view. I always have blur boundaries of literature I think every novels, poems, frictions, even article are counted as literature. To be honest I am quite shock when I approach to the concepts of canon, as Landow mention the use of canon is not just about defining what is great literature. The purpose are also giving those works privileges, the privileges “Gaining entrance clearly allows a work to be enjoyed”
Besides of shocking I also feel the canon is unfair to the works which are not able to enter the canon. In the article Landow mentions “failing to do so thrusts it into the limbo of the unnoticed, unread, unenjoyed, un-existing.” I understand that having a canon can help the public to understand what is good literature and what is not but I also think everyone have their own taste of literary works. The works which are outside the canon can still have it’s value to certain people. I think if the canon is too strict or it is not quite up-to-date for example people nowadays may not be as inspired by the works from Shakespeare as the people before, in this case the canon will lose it purpose. In my opinion the canon is set up for remind us what is good literature but not force us to follow old rules without improving.
At last I agree on professor Landow that canon is needed and too many categories of canon will cause confusion but I also think that it is unfair to say all the works outside the canon should not be enjoyed by the public. I think those gatekeepers should consider setting an appropriate canon so more good literary works can be enjoyed by the public.